So, what is it?
"Yesterday a few Vatnik's tried to portray the attack on Bilhorod People's Republic as showing weakness on the Ukrainian part.
This was rapidly picked up on in the sphere of Punditry.
In the public space we are seeing a lot of happy Russian freedom fighter's running around having fun on endless Russian roads shooting **** up as they please.
Was it really them that did it?
Of course not.
First of all, they are supported by every single Foreign Legion in Ukraine.
Was it all of them that did it?
Of course not.
They where not even involved in the breaching of the border station.
That was done by a full artillery brigade and what is to the best of my knowledge the most powerful brigade in the world.
Hours of massive artillery fire preparation was followed by 'Monster' Brigade charging up to the Border Post demolishing it with tanks at short range, they then cleared a huge area. And we all know who did that happy stampede.
They entered Russia fully 1 hour 30 minute before any Free Russia soldier entered, and they remained inside Russia until the night.
This is all corroborated by Russian sources and local media.
Raid or Invasion?
This is a good question.
A raid is a force attacking and causing havoc for typically up to 5 days, it usually does not have a logistics chain set up, and basically forages for what it needs.
A true offensive has a longer term goal and has a supply chain set up.
So what is this? Problem is that we do not really know.
If it was a raid it would be smaller since having several legions running around like this would have sucked every petrol station dry in half a day.
And, we also do not know what supply Ukraine might have set up really.
It was obviously intended as a raid, but an unusually large one, and with at least fuel being carted in.
But, it has a lot of leeway in how it develops, and Ukraine is obviously open for amending it, putting in a larger supply chain can be done rapidly from a distribution hub, Ukraine is very good at this.
If Russia does not send sufficient forces to cause a problem, they will continue causing havoc and advancing.
Personally I find the entire debate boring.
I use a different term that is more apt: Military Trolling Expedition.
I will return to this.
This is where everyone is getting lost.
There are several goals: Fear, Confusion, Response, Humiliation...
Let us go through them from Tactical, Strategic and Political perspectives.
Tactics: It is weakening locally the artillery and air defence plus containing easy to achieve local military goals such as killing a lot of FSB and Rosgvardia forces, or driving those away.
Here is where it is getting more interesting.
Russia had no troops along the entire border from Belarus to Luhansk with the exception of artillery, missile units, air force and air defence.
Fairly idiotic of Russia, but they got Bakhmutsexual and pulled them out.
The main strategical goal is to suck forces out of Ukraine to cover the border.
Problem is that Russia seems to not do that, or at least is just sending a minor unit, the 93rd Motorised Rifle Brigade.
This Brigade is so depleted that it is less than half of a battalion in strength (300ish men) and lack equipment.
And they are supposed to fight off 1000+ men attacking along 3 different vectors.
This in turn forces Ukraine to force the attack into Russia to achieve this goal.
Here the goal is to make Russia look weak and pathetic to the Russian population, and showcase how inept their political and military leadership is.
This has been a stunning success, for the first time ALL of the Russian citizens have noticed that the war is a joke, and that the entire world is laughing at them.
As Konstantin explains in the video, the propaganda did not get into gear fast enough, and no answers that anyone believe was sent out.
And the few answers available was from the local Governor, and he is not happy at all and told pretty much the truth.
Ukraine will have to drive home this one to achieve this as a strategic victory.
The reason is that Russia's response is way to feeble to work.
At the minimum they will have to belt the 93rd, and then hold the area for a while afterwards until more substantial units are pulled out of Ukraine, or open new lines of attack into Bryansk and Kursk.
This is where I am truly stumped, Russia not reacting to this is just insane.
It is like their entire military leadership is frozen stiff and unable to react to being invaded.
Compare this to Zalushnyy who in 3 days had the country on war footing and had stopped Russia dead in their tracks complete with a mobilisation... you get my point. Armies are usually very very fast in reacting to invasions.
Anyway, Ukraine has the ability to swing in logistics and the artillery etcetera is already in place, so they can effectively do nasty stuff.
And, if needed callsign Monster is sitting idling on the other side of the border waiting to go back on heir dainty tracked feet.
Her entire mission is to pull out a sizeable part of the Russian army, and she will do this while somehow avoiding getting a generals star.
For some reason she is really stubborn on not getting that star.
As a sidenote, a Brigade that is really a small division is never run by a colonel, it is run a by a 1-star general.
And if you are running an entire sector of a frontline you are not a colonel, then you have 2 stars on your shoulders.
I digress, but I do think I will have to have a talk with her about it...
Strength or Weakness
The answer is "Neither & Both at the same time".
The answer lies in the part that there is not a number of offensives, there is only ONE offensive that is in many stages.
Zalyshnyy's plan is utterly genius, and he will go down into the history as one of the truly great generals.
Each stage has an objective that leads to the next and next and next part.
Bakhmut offensive is there to pin down a lot of Russian forces.
Belgorod is to thin out the Russian forces by moving them to the North, and making certain that no Russian forces go from Bakhmut down south.
Every stage has tactical, strategical and political goals to achieve.
None of the stages is "The Offensive", but all of the stages are the offensive.
My point here is that people are not seeing the Forrest for all of the Trees.
The trees are interesting to talk about as you walk past it, but it is always the forest that is important.
Ghosts & OpSec
Yesterday some numbnut started to post images of the Nighthawks flying in a formation across Ukraine during the night, and to make things even worse that person published a picture of the airbase complete with their hangars.
Sigh... the person is arrested now (today), but the damage is now done."